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City of the Snakes Hardcover – 2 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (2 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573474
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,530,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Darren Shan's real name is Darren O'Shaughnessy (pronounced O-Shock-Nessy, though it can also be pronounced O-Shawn-Essy). Although he is Irish, he was born on July 2, 1972, in St. Thomas' Hospital, London -- directly across the river from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, which may explain his fascination with evil bloodsuckers! He lived in South East London, near the Elephant & Castle. He started school at the early age of three (he was such a wild child, no pre-school facility would have him!), in English Martyrs. At the age of six, he moved to Limerick in Ireland, with his parents and younger brother, and has lived there ever since.

Shan went to primary school in Askeaton, where his mother was a teacher, then to secondary school in Copsewood College in Pallaskenry. Later, he went back to London to study Sociology and English at Roehampton University. He then worked for a cable television company in Limerick for a couple of years, before setting up as a full-time writer at the age of 23.

Although Shan always wanted to be a writer, it was only in his teenage years that he began writing in his spare time for fun (before that, he only wrote stories if they were for homework). He bought his first typewriter when he was 14, and never looked back, knocking out loads of short stories and comic scripts, and making false starts on several books, which he never completed. He enjoyed his first taste of literary success at age 15, as a runner-up in a television script-writing competition for RTE in Ireland, with a dark comedy script titled A Day in the Morgue (he was morbid even then!).

Shan was 17 when he finished his first novel. Although it was never published, he relished the writing experience, and found himself focusing more on novels in the coming years, leaving behind the short-story format. For the next several years, sandwiched between university and work, he wrote an average of one book a year, experimenting with different ideas, genres, lengths and styles. When he started writing full-time, his output shot up to 5 to 6 books per year! But that has dropped back to 2 to 3 recently, due to all the travelling around he's been doing to promote sales of his books.

All of these early books were adult-oriented. Although Shan quite liked the idea of writing a children's book one day, he considered himself an adult writer first and foremost. In fact, Shan's initial breakthrough was with an adult book, in 1999, titled Ayuamarca (since re-released in the UK as Procession Of The Dead, and coming to the USA in 2010).

In January 2000, his first children's book, Cirque du Freak, which he'd written as a fun side-project, was published. The first book in a series titled The Saga of Darren Shan (or Cirque du Freak, as it's known in America), it attracted rave reviews and an ever-growing army of fans hungry to learn more about vampires which were quite unlike any that anyone had ever seen before!

Shan loved writing for children so much, that for the next several years he focused exclusively on his books for younger readers. First, he wrote a total of 12 books about vampires. He quickly followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata, a series about demons. Running to ten books in total, The Demonata cemented Shan's place in the UK as the Master Of Children's Horror, and saw him score his first UK #1 bestseller. He also wrote a one-off short book, called Koyasan, for Wold Book Day in the UK.

There was a very successful manga adaptation of Shan's vampire series, drawn by the Japanese artist, Takahiro Arai. It was originally serialized in Japan, but collected volumes are now on sale in the USA, UK and other countries.

In addition to writing for children, Shan has now returned to his first love and is once again writing for adults as well. He has had two adult books published in the UK, Procession Of The Dead and Hell's Horizon. They have been released in a number of other countries too, and are due to hit the USA in 2010. A third, City of the Snakes, goes on sale in the UK in March 2010. His first adult books were released under the name of D B Shan, but they are being reprinted under the name of Darren Shan in March 2010, and City of the Snakes will be released under the Darren Shan name.

By the start of 2010, Shan's books were on sale in every continent, in 39 countries, in 31 languages, and have been children's bestsellers in America, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries. The books have topped adult bestseller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. In total, Shan's books have sold close to 15 million copies worldwide!!!!

The movie rights to Cirque Du Freak were bought by Universal, and the first movie (which combines elements from the first three books in the series) was released on October 23rd, 2009, starring newcomer Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan, along with a wide array of established stars such as Josh Hutcherson, John C Reilly, Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe. The movie was called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in February 2010.

A big film buff, with a collection of more than four thousand movies at home, Shan also reads lots of comics and books, and likes to study and collect original artwork, especially comic art and impressionist and post-impressionist art. He has recently started adding sculptures to his collection, making use of the large, empty field outside his back door. Other interests include long walks, watching football (he's a Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, theatre, worldwide travel, sampling the delights of both gourmet cuisine and finger-licking junk food, and dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers!!!

Shan spends most of his time in Limerick, Ireland, with his girlfriend Bas. He has no pets, but a neighbourhood dog called Goldie joins him on his walks most days. He also feeds a variety of wild birds, and spots the occasional hare and pheasant strolling through his back yard. In addition to his main home in Ireland, Shan has an apartment in London, to which he escapes for a burst of high-speed living every so often, when he feels the need to get his juices flowing!! Shan rarely writes when in London or on the road, preferring to tie himself to his computer when at home in Limerick, where he can work away solidly without any distractions in the peace and quiet of the Irish countryside.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Hell’s Horizon:

‘Thrilling, chilling and a great read.’ Sun

‘Plenty of twists and thrills … Shan is adept at grabbing the attention with bursts of shocking violence’ SFX

Praise for Procession of the Dead:

‘A beguiling read … a fantastic revelation at the end’ SFX

‘Explicit, brutal fantasy … the narrative voice is engagingly cocky and the action races along’ The Times

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Darren Shan is the author of two hugely popular series for Children: 'The Saga of Darren Shan', and ‘The Demonata’ which have been read by millions of people around the world in over twenty different languages. The City Trilogy is his first work for adults. Darren Shan lives in Ireland.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Darren Shan is one of those authors that you either love or hate. Personally I love the guy's writing but that doesn't mean that it will appeal to everyone. Within this offering is a tale that will keep you guessing, some great characters and to be honest quite a bit of growth and whilst you can technically read this without having read the previous two I'd heavily advise against that as you won't get the full Shan flavour. It's quirky, its twisted and to be honest the weirdness is strangely appealing. A great offering from the author in this series and definitely a real piece of escapism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Shan is an experienced author and here he closes his latest trilogy on a high note.

Charting the rise of Capac Raimi (The Cardinal), this series begins to close with his kidnapping. In best Arthurian trasition, without him in charge, the city begins to fall...

Shan writes in an extremly cinematic way, this could easily translate to film as the illegitimate offspring of Philip K. Dick and Frank Herbert and adopted by China Mieville.

He allows us to side with chracters that we may dislike and even cheer for them wwhen things go right, or wince as things go very, very wrong.

Great stuff.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Capac Raimi is The Cardinal, ruler of what is known simply as, the City. Created by the mysterious and enigmatic, blind Incan priests at the behest of the previous Cardinal, he can't be killed. More accurately, he can be killed, but will always come round several days later aboard a train heading back to The City. An unnerving trait for his many enemies and would be executioners. Despite his gift, or curse, as he variously views it, control of the City is gradually slipping from his grasp as rival gangs and factions fight for territory. One day, Raimi disappears and it falls to Al Jeery, who spends his nights as a brutally lethal vigelante in the guise of notorious serial killer Pacau Wami (who also happened to be his father) to locate him before the City falls to anarchy.

It's bit difficult to know what to say about this book, to be honest. I didn't dislike it, but I really struggled to get into it. Maybe it was simply because all of the main characters are generally quite unpleasant individuals and therefore difficult to warm to. Maybe it was because it takes a while for the story to actually get going. Anyway, for whatever reason, it just didn't really grab me. Possibly, I would've benefitted from reading the previous two installments in the trilogy
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was my first foray into Darren Shan's writing. The book was received via the vine programme and would not normally be the kind of thing I would pick up. I'm normally more crime fiction than fantasy.

However, once I got going with this I really enjoyed it! It took some time to really get engrossed. I don't know if this is because I went straight in to the third book in the trilogy? But I never really felt like this didn't work as a standalone story as well. Some of the names & text didn't scan well through my internal monologue while reading, which was grating at times, but the story developed well and by the end was un-put-downable.

I was quite glad I picked a couple of days of travelling to/from London by train to read this as it gave me sufficient time to get absorbed. I don't think I would have found it such and easy dad if I was dipping in and out a little bit at a time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Darren Shan has outdone himself in the City Trilogy, and the same goes for City of Snakes! The stories of book one and two collide bringing out a grand finalie for the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RR on 31 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shan is the man! This is an adult series that is very intriguing and complexly written. Shan is very talented and needs to be recognized!
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By Thomas Starr on 18 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
really finishes the series off in a . great way
a must read for every age range
in just a few words, thrilling,gripping and awesome
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Morris on 6 April 2010
Format: Paperback
No doubt in my mind that this series of books are the best I have ever read. And I read a lot! Being 18 I think I am basically Darren's target audience and also anyone a bit older. I wouldn't suggest this is a read to anyone younger than 15/16 as some of the text is quite... graphic?

This is the 3rd book in the series and ties things together quite quite nicely! I'd have to say it isn't quite as good as Hell's Horizon but... Still incredible! Buy this book! (But read the other two first, obviously) Procession of the Dead (The City Trilogy) and Hell's Horizon: The City Trilogy 2
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